A time of high stress for most of our Teens (and their families) whilst we all learn to balance and manage the physical, emotional and intellectual changes that can occur at this time (think puberty).

The good news is that coping with the stress of study and exams during VCE can be managed with a little planning, determination and parental support.

Here are my top 5 tips for our teens to read and to action, and for you as the parent to support them with:

  1. Set up a Study Space
    Ensure you have a study space that is distraction free from phones, TV’s and other distractions like your little brother J. Sitting up in your bed hunched over your laptop is not always the ideal space as it can lead to neck and back complaints as well as headaches and distraction so if you can set up a space outside of your bed or even better, outside of your bedroom, then do it.
  2. Plan Ahead (visual schedule)
    Set up your schedule for the month or term and then break it down into manageable bite size pieces, this could be weekly or fortnightly depending on what works for you, not your friend at school and not even your teacher but what works for you and then stick to it.
    It is important to schedule in some social activities and exercise to boost energy, performance and productivity and for healthy brain development.
  3. Study and Revise
    With all the Learning Tasks, SACS, GATS and classwork pieces that you must complete, the last thing you may want to do is spend time on top of all that studying. Remember this, if you are after that elusive ATAR score then there will certainly be others that are biting the bullet and putting in those extra hours of study to get it.  Make sure you are one of them or you will miss out.  If you are not headed to UNI or if you are unsure, you will feel better about yourself if you can say “I did the best I could”. Don’t look back at the end with regret.  Give it your best shot and feel proud about it.
  4. Take regular Brain Breaks
    Research has shown that taking regular brain breaks will help with your focus and efficiency once you return to your study so, get on that treadmill, take a walk, watch that Netflix show or even just incorporate a short 5 minute routine of stretching and breath work into your daily schedule. 
  5. Watch your diet and get enough sleep
    Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. Watch what you eat and try to stick to a balanced healthy diet.  Develop a good bedtime routine that promotes quality sleep and includes NO electronic equipment at least one hour before sleep (yep that’s right) and some gentle exercise before starting your wind down routine to get rid of any last-minute angst.  Leave phones and laptops out of the room to charge overnight so that your sleep is not interrupted by any flashing lights and beeping notifications.  If you must have your phone in your room, then at least turn off all notifications.


VCE can be a time of high stress but it can also be a time of growth and self-discovery.  University, ATAR scores, exams and SACS do not have to define you.  If you really want to go to University but do not get the ATAR score you want, then you can still get there.  It might take a little longer (eg: TAFE pathway to Uni) but you will eventually get to wherever you want to be.  It is all up to you.




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